Saturday, March 4, 2017

Whitney Rose at Cody’s Viva Cantina, 3-3-17 Concert Review

Whitney Rose performing "Lookin' Back On Luckenbach"
Sometimes the universe gives us little treats, you know, to keep us interested. Last night when I got over to Cody’s Viva Cantina in Burbank to see Whitney Rose, there was a band already playing. And it was led by Del Casher, the man who first developed the wah-wah pedal for guitar. Just playing casually at this rather small venue. Fantastic. He was backed by a good band too. I particularly enjoyed the bass player. And while this band was playing, my friends and I were drinking mango margaritas, and all seemed right with the world. You know those moments? I am going to do my best to be aware of them when they happen, to acknowledge them, to enjoy them.

And then Whitney Rose took the stage at 8:30 p.m. for the first of two sets. I first became aware of Whitney in 2015 when she released Heartbreaker Of The Year. I was particularly drawn to her voice, but she also writes some damn good material. Then earlier this year she released a new EP, South Texas Suite, which includes a great cover of “Analog.” Last night she kicked off the show with “My First Rodeo,” a tune from Heartbreaker Of The Year – no introductions, no banter, just right to the music. She followed that with “Chivalry Is Dead” from her self-titled album, then spoke to the crowd: “Thank you so much. How y’all doing, Burbank?” The crowd was an interesting mix. Most folks were there to pay attention to the music, and were respectful, but others (include a couple of women behind us) were talking through much of it. Also, the venue has two stages, two rooms that are connected, and music from the other room leaked in, especially audible between songs, which was not cool.

Whitney Rose was backed by Will Meadows on lead guitar and backing vocals, Andrew Pacheco on bass, Kyle Sullivan on drums and backing vocals, and Jeremy Long on keys and pedal steel (and also accordion, actually). In addition to some excellent original material, the band did several covers during the show, including “Suspicious Minds,” Merle Haggard’s “The Bottle Let Me Down” and “You Don’t Own Me.” “You Don’t Own Me” closed out the first set, and was one of the set’s highlights. As I mentioned, when I first heard Whitney Rose, I was struck by her vocals. In the first set, the two songs that really impressed me vocally were “The Last Party” and “You Don’t Own Me.” “You Don’t Own Me” was originally recorded by Lesley Gore, but I think the first version I heard was Joan Jett’s, when I was nine years old. It was included on the Bad Reputation album, which I listened to over and over. Whitney Rose delivered a fantastic performance of the song last night, completely committing to the material, living it, breathing it. It was an excellent way to close the first set.

After a twenty-five-minute break, the band started the second set with a new song, “Arizona.” We heard a bit of it earlier during the soundcheck, and I hope Whitney Rose decides to include it on her next CD, because it’s a really good song. She followed that with “In The Afternoon” and “Your Time To Cry,” the latter featuring some good stuff on both keys and guitar. “Analog” is one of my favorites from the new EP, and I was happy to get to see Whitney perform it. It was written by Brennan Leigh, and last night, in introducing the song, Whitney spoke quite highly of her. She followed it with covers of “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down” and “Bluebonnets For My Baby,” the latter also appearing on the new EP.

“Three Minute Love Affair” is another favorite from the new CD, and Jeremy Long played accordion on that one. He switched to pedal steel for “My Boots,” which is also from South Texas Suite. Actually, Whitney played all the tracks from that disc except “How ‘Bout A Hand For The Band,” which is a short instrumental track at the end. Although, as that is sort of a continuation of “My Boots,” maybe they did play it. Hmm. Well, they ended the second set with a nice cover of Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man.” The show ended at 10:23 p.m. There was no encore.

Set List

Set I
  1. My First Rodeo
  2. Chivalry Is Dead
  3. Lookin’ Back On Luckenbach
  4. Suspicious Minds
  5. The Devil Borrowed My Boots
  6. The Last Party
  7. The Bottle Let Me Down
  8. Lasso
  9. You Don’t Scare Me
  10. You Don’t Own Me
Set II
  1. Arizona
  2. In The Afternoon
  3. Your Time To Cry
  4. Analog
  5. All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down
  6. Bluebonnets For My Baby
  7. Two More Bottles Of Wine
  8. Three Minute Love Affair
  9. My Boots
  10. Stand By Your Man
Here are a few photos from the show:

"Lookin' Back At Luckenbach"
"You Don't Own Me"
"Your Time To Cry"
"Three Minute Love Affair"
"Stand By Your Man"
"Stand By Your Man"

And here is a photo of Del Casher:

 Cody’s Viva Cantina is located at 900 W. Riverside Dr. in Burbank, California.

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